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Environment
Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Environmentalists Say DeSantis Should Credit Biden Administration For Bolstering Florida’s Budget

Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session, Friday, April 30, 2021, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session, Friday, April 30, 2021, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.

They say the boost in spending is largely a result of the American Rescue Plan.

Environmentalists say Governor Ron DeSantis needs to recognize the Biden Administration for its American Rescue Plan. Federal dollars from the plan are helping fund the governor's environmental initiatives.

Florida Conservation Voters' Aliki Moncrief says it's been a good year for the environment. That's because DeSantis is allocating $4.5 billion toward environmental initiatives. That includes tackling coastal and flooding resiliency, water quality improvements, and more.

Moncrief says that Florida saw a boost of nearly $2 billion in environmental spending this year because of the American Rescue Plan.

"I think it's unfair for them to not credit the Biden administration for making this happen and the U.S. Congress for making this happen. I think the reason that they do that is because they are hyper-partisan," Moncrief says.

DeSantis vetoed nearly 6 million in water projects when approving this year's state budget. That includes drinking water system improvements, watershed restoration, and more. Moncrief says she's disappointed to see any funding for water projects get cut.

"That's been a focus of his administration, is the harmful algal blooms task force, making sure that we're tackling water quality problems, so it was a little bit surprising to see so many water projects vetoed this year," Moncrief says.

Moncrief says this year's water project veto list is light compared to last year. She says in 2020, DeSantis made about $48 million worth of vetoes to water projects.
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